Shantel Nzembi murder: Prime suspect had troubled past, assaulted her father severally

Shantel Nzembi
Nativity Mutindi. [Photo: Nation]

Prime suspect in the murder of 8-year-old Shantel Nzembi from Kitengela has had a troubled past.

According to relatives of the 27-year-old murder suspect, she took her family through hard times as she grew up.

Born in Ndelekeni Village, Machakos County, Mutindi had anger issues, he aunt Mbisu Kingele said.

She is accused of assaulting her father Stephen Kimatu Nthuku severally.

Her aunt said that Mutindi would assault her father anytime he fought his mother.

The father later abandoned his daughter and wife and fled to Mombasa to start a new life.

Years later, his body was found dumped in Yatta Forest. This was in 2004 and the theory is that he was killed by unknown assailants.

In Kajiado where Mutindi lived, neighbours say she lived a flashy life but they never saw her go to work.

They say that she also liked being addressed as Mama Mercy or Mama Martha.

“Even after she shut down her Mobile money business, she still lived large. She was fashionable and her daughter went to a private school,” one of the neighbours told the press.

On Monday, Kajiado Resident Magistrate Edwin Mulochi gave the prosecution team seven days to conclude investigations.

She appeared alongside another suspect, Patrick Muriithi Wambaire, 28, who registered the sim card that the suspects were using to demand ransom from Shantel’s mother, Christine Ngina.

Ngina said her daughter disappeared after she went out to play never to be seen again.

Moments later, Ngina received a call from a woman demanding ransom.

“I received so many calls. They called me first on Saturday, and they kept asking if I had managed to get the money. They could not wait any longer, just a day only,” she said.

Government chief pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor in his report said the eight-year-old died from suffocation.

He conducted the postmortem at the Shalom Community Hospital in Athi River on Friday.

The pathologist noted that Nzembi’s nose and mouth had been blocked. This suffocated her and lead to her death.

More samples were taken to the Government Chemist for analysis and also to determine if the young girl was defiled as it had earlier been reported.

When police pounced on Mutindi, they found her in possession of the sim card used to call Ngina for ransom.

A boda boda rider Livingston Makacha was also arrested for having the handset used to ask for the ransom.

Makacha going by investigations, was the one who dumped young Nzembi’s body.

A fourth suspect, Francis Mbuthia registered the sim card with his details in Kiserian. It is this sim card that would receive money.

Police are hunting a fifth female suspect believed to have been Muntindi’s accomplice.

They will be presented in court on June 15.